That’s the nature of addiction. Like a pebble in a pond, it ripples outwards, drawing in, not just the sufferer, but all those in its path.
Addicts in particular, exert a certain ‘pull’. It’s agonising to watch – and even harder to help. But there’s a difference between caring about someone and taking responsibility for them. You don’t want to drown with them. Instead, you want to throw them a rope.
Strong love means saying no as well as yes.
- No to doing the things they should be doing themselves.
- No to covering up for them or hiding their mistakes.
- No to the guilt that tries to fix another person.
- No to the temptation to clean everything up.
The truth is this: none of us has the power to rescue anyone else. We can help and love and challenge – but that’s not the same thing.
This is a mistake that Glen and I made for many years. As the ‘victim’ of an addiction, I demanded from him what no man could provide. He in turn tried to ‘save’ me by serving my demands. Instead of husband and wife we acted like patient and carer. Neither of us were happy. Both of us were trapped.
For us to move forward, we had to look to Christ, instead of to each other.
Why? Because no-one but Christ can bear the weight of another person’s salvation. If we try to carry it, it will crush us instead.